Man charged with aggravated assault, accused of shaking 3-month-old baby

Joey Ortega, Jr., 24 is charged with aggravated assault.
Joey Ortega, Jr., 24 is charged with aggravated assault.(Lubbock County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 3:58 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Wolfforth man has been indicted by a Lubbock County grand jury and is charged with aggravated assault after his 3-month-old child died at the hospital.

In late November, Lubbock County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a medical call in Wolfforth where 24-year-old Joey Ortega Jr. was caring for the infant. When deputies arrived, the child was in cardiac arrest and was taken to University Medical Center.

The arrest warrant for Ortega stated a doctor found the baby had injuries to his head and chest and was suffering from a brain bleed and retinal hemorrhaging. The court documents show this is consistent with someone shaking the baby.

Ortega told police he was watching his son and daughter while the mother was away at work. He told investigators he laid the child down in his bassinet with a bottle and 10 minutes later returned to check on him and found him unresponsive. Ortega described the child was “gasping for breath but could still feel his heart beating” and called 911.

At first, Ortega denied harming the child but, “when told specifically [the child] had injuries not consistent with natural causes he stated he had hugged [him] hard when he was crying,” the warrant states. He described to investigators shaking the child out of frustration.

Ortega is currently in the Lubbock County Detention Center.

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